US Department of State Releases March 2020 Visa Bulletin

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In the March 2020 Visa Bulletin issued by the US Department of State, EB-2 worldwide employment-based classifications, excluding China and India, remain available and current; the Dates for Filing Chart sees no advancement; and significant retrogression impacts EB-3 Final Action Dates for Mexico, Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed.

The US Department of State released its March 2020 Visa Bulletin outlining per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status application and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the March 2020 Visa Bulletin Say?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustment of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.

Each month, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chooses which chart it will follow. This month, USCIS will follow the Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications chart for employment-based (EB) filings for adjustment of status. This means that individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in March 2020 must use the Dates for Filing chart below.

Final Action Dates

To be eligible to receive approval of a pending EB adjustment application in March 2020, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date that is earlier than the listed date may file their applications.

Final Action Dates Chart: Employment-Based Preference Cases

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EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
Born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

01MAR19 (was 01DEC18)  01JUN17 (was 22MAY17) 01MAR19 (was 01DEC18) 01MAR15 (was 01JAN15) 01DEC18 (was 01OCT18) 01MAR19 (was 01DEC18) 01MAR19 (was 01DEC18)

2nd

C (no change) 15AUG15 (was 01JUL15) C
(no change)
22MAY09 (was 19MAY09) C (no change) C
(no change)
C (no change)

3rd

01JAN17 (was C) 22MAR16 (was 01JAN16) 01JAN17 (was C) 15JAN09 (was 08JAN09) 01JAN17 (was C) 01JAN17 (was 01JUN18) 01JAN17 (was C)

Other Workers

01JAN17 (was C) 01JUN08 (was 01MAY08) 01JAN17 (was C) 15JAN09 (was 08JAN09) 01JAN17 (was C) 01JAN17 (was 01JUN18) 01JAN17 (was C)
--> Scroll to see full table data

On the Final Action Dates chart, the India EB-1 cutoff date advanced two months to March 1, 2015, and the EB-1 cutoff date for China advanced 10 days to June 1, 2017. Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed all saw modest movement in the EB-1 category, with each country advancing by three months to March 1, 2019.

The EB-2 China cutoff date advanced six weeks to August 15, 2015. EB-2 India advanced by just three days to May 22, 2009. EB-2 dates for all other countries remain current.

EB-3 China advanced nearly three months to March 22, 2016.

Retrogressions: The EB-3 and Other Workers category cutoff dates for Philippines retrogressed by 17 months, to January 1, 2017. The EB-3 and Other Workers category cutoff dates for Mexico, Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed retrogressed by more than three years to January 1, 2017. The March final action date of January 1, 2017 is being imposed immediately for all requests for numbers in order to keep worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY 2020 annual limits. No forward movement of this date is expected in the foreseeable future.

Dates for Filing

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment of status application in March 2020, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Note that since Vietnam is not listed on the Department of State’s Dates for Filing chart, adjustment applicants from Vietnam should use the worldwide dates found in the “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed” column.

Dates for Filing Chart: Employment-Based Preference Cases

--> Scroll to see full table data

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(Mainland
Born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

C (no change)  01OCT17 (no change) C (no change) 15MAR17 (no change) C (no change) C (no change) C (no change)

2nd

C (no change)  01AUG16 (no change) C  (no change) 01JUL09 (no change)   C (no change) C (no change) C  (no change)

3rd

01JAN19 (no change)  01MAR17 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change)  01FEB10 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change)

Other Workers

01JAN19 (no change)  01AUG08 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change) 01FEB10 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change) 01JAN19 (no change)
--> Scroll to see full table data

This month’s Dates for Filing chart did not advance, nor retrogress, for any country or EB category.

On the Dates for Filing chart, the India EB-1 cutoff date remains at March 15, 2017. EB-1 China remains at October 1, 2017. EB-1 dates for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed remain current.

EB-2 China remains at August 1, 2016. EB-2 India remains at July 1, 2009. EB-2 categories for All Chargeability Areas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all remain current for February 2020.

The EB-3 cutoff date for China remains at March 1, 2017, and the EB-3 cutoff for India remains at February 1, 2010. EB-3 categories for All Chargeability Areas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam remain at January 1, 2019.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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